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 TeasersJohn Derbyshire Blogview

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The President’s speech on Wednesday seems to have been carefully crafted to appeal to those suburban women who, according to Senator Lindsey Graham and various pollsters, are fleeing from the Republican Party. [The GOP’s deficit with suburban women starts at the White House, By Dan Balz, Washington Post, November 13, 2018] So we heard the President tell us that

Migrant children … are used as human pawns by vicious coyotes and ruthless gangs. One in three women are sexually assaulted on the dangerous trek up through Mexico. Women and children are the biggest victims, by far, of our broken system. This is the tragic reality of illegal immigration on our southern border. This is the cycle of human suffering that I am determined to end.

Aside from these appeals to the feelings—wo wo wo feelings!—of suburban women, there were some nuggets of sense in the President’s speech:

We have asked Congress to close border security loopholes so that illegal immigrant children can be safely and humanely returned back home.

Of course, the whole crazy system needs to be overhauled by legislation.

Anyone who pays attention now understands the game being played down there. Juanita pays a sum of money to the coyotes, memorizes a sob story they feed her, rounds up her kids—or hires someone else’s from the coyotes—treks north to our border, presents herself to Border Patrol, or to immigration officers at a port of entry, regurgitates the sob story, lingers in detention a few days being interviewed and signing forms, then gets a ride to the nearest big-city bus depot.

Recently, I went to a talk by Todd Bensman, who worked intelligence at the Texas border. A regular chore for workers at those big-city bus stations, he told us, is sweeping up the piles of ankle bracelets illegals cut off as soon as they get there.

Court appearance? Yeah, right. She’s in, and will never be deported. And so are her children. Or “children.”

The Democrats’ response to the President’s speech, by Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer, was the usual predictable blather about of course they favor strong border security, but the Wall would be—quote from Schumer—”ineffective and unnecessary.”

We got the tugs at our heart-strings too. Nancy: “The women and children at the border are not a security threat.”

I agree, they’re not. But they are an insult to our laws and our sovereignty, an insult that a nation of proud patriots should not tolerate.

Let’s look at those “children.” My own home town of Huntington, Long Island was the focus of a big news story on illegal immigration the other day. I mean big in wordage and journalistic prominence, not big in importance. It ran as a lead feature in the New York Times Sunday magazine, December 30th.

Headline: How a Crackdown on MS-13 Caught Up Innocent High School Students. Sub-heading: The Trump administration went after gang members—and instead destroyed the American dreams of immigrant teenagers around the country. [By Hannah Dreier, December 27, 2018]

The story concerns Alex, a lad from Honduras. Alex’s father, Viktor, snuck across the border in 2010 and settled in Huntington. He’s an illegal alien. He got work here and sent money back to his family. The money attracted gangs back in Honduras, and that (allegedly) put the family in danger. Gangs mugged Alex’s mother, harassed Alex, and shot his uncle dead, the story tells us.

Either that’s true—in which case it tells us that these remittances are driving crime and violence in Central America—or it’s just a sob story Alex was coached in by the coyotes. Form your own judgment about the relative probabilities.

In 2015 Alex’s dad in Huntington paid $4,000 to coyotes to bring Alex, then aged 17, to our southern border. Alex presented himself at a border checkpoint, told his tale, and asked for asylum.

He was released and joined his dad—an illegal alien, remember—in Huntington.

He enrolled in Huntington High School—the same school my kids attended, the school I pay for out of my property taxes. He was a 17-year-old freshman, which apparently is OK with the authorities here.

Then—sinister drum roll—Donald Trump got elected President and Jeff Sessions became Attorney General.

Long Island has for years been plagued with Central American youth gangs. There have been many murders, mostly of teenagers. Jeff—bless him!—took matters in hand and there was a clampdown on any kind of gang activity in our schools. [Thank you, Jeff Sessions, for crushing MS-13,by Steve Levy, NY Post, November 8, 2018]

Alex got caught up in this. Whether he actually was in a gang is hard to tell. Gang membership isn’t a clear line. Quote from the NYT, which of course is doing its best to stir our sympathies for this lad:

He had grown close to a group of friends in his homeroom who showed off their Central American pride by dressing in the colors of their home countries’ flags. They tagged themselves in group Facebook photos with the telephone calling codes for their home countries—503 for El Salvador, 502 for Guatemala and 504 for Honduras.

Way to deflect any suspicion of gang affiliations, guys!

Alex was suspended from school in May 2017 and arrested the following month.

He’d originally been waved in to the U.S.A. as an unaccompanied minor, which in immigration law means under age eighteen. Since Alex was now eighteen—or possibly nineteen, it’s not clear—Alex’s appeals were rejected and he was deported back to Honduras in July 2018.

His dad, still in Huntington, and still an illegal alien, hired another coyote to get Alex back out. This time Alex was caught trying to cross the border. He was arrested and re-deported. He now has a criminal record and a 20-year ban on re-entry.

I’ve covered that little tear-jerker at some length not just because it concerns my home town, but also because

(a) it sheds light on what’s actually going on with these illegal aliens from Central America; and

(b) because of the way the New York Times presents the story to readers, with Alex as some kind of tragic hero that those readers would naturally sympathize with.

 
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[Adapted from the latest Radio Derb, now available exclusively on VDARE.com.]

The phrase “White Supremacist” seems to have settled in among Social Justice Warriors as the favorite term of obloquy for those of us who won’t clap along with the Progressive liturgy. I guess the word “racist” was just worn out from over-use.

“White Supremacist” is of course just totalitarian cuss-talk, like “counter-revolutionary” or “enemy of the people.” You’re not supposed to think about the meaning of the words. You’re just supposed to flip into Two Minutes Hate mode.

I get asked rather often whether I am a White Supremacist. Somewhat more often than that I get accused of being one. When I probe the questioner or accuser, it generally turns out they have looked me up on SJWikipedia. In the entry about me there the Wikifolk quote [January 4, 2019] from my musings in May 2012 about what people with opinions like mine, and VDARE’s, should call ourselves.

I mused: “I actually think ‘White Supremacist’ is not bad semantically.” I pointed out how desperate the wretched of the Earth are to get into white-run countries any way they can. Taking “white-run” to be a “synonym for “white supremacist,” that means that White Supremacy is terrifically popular with nonwhites.

However, a few sentences later, I rejected the term:

We should not let our enemies dictate vocabulary to us … In any case, the Whatever Right contains many separatists—who, far from wanting to lord it over nonwhites, just want to get away from them.

No, “White Supremacist” really won’t do.

In other words I considered the term as a possible self-descriptor, then I rejected it.

Of course, Commiepedia doesn’t tell you I rejected it.

In the end, I favored the term “Dissident Right” instead.

(I have, in fact, just this week, through the offices of a kind friend, acquired title to the internet domain name dissidentright.com, although I haven’t yet figured out what to do with it. Suggestions will be gratefully received).

So no, I’m not a supremacist of any kind. I don’t want to lord it over any other race or ethny; I just want to be left alone, and not see the country I live in swamped by millions of hard-to-assimilate foreigners.

I can’t see what’s wrong with any of that. Although of course I understand that nothing could be further from the minds of our ruling ideologues than leaving people alone.

But here’s a thought experiment. Of all possible supremacies—White Supremacy, Black Supremacy, East Asian Supremacy, Male Supremacy, Ashkenazi Supremacy, Hetero Supremacy…of all the supremacies you can come up with, is there any that I’m somewhat favorably disposed to?

I’m picking my words carefully here. As I said, my preference is to be left alone. I don’t want to be bossed around, and I don’t want to boss anyone else around. In all honesty, though, there are bound to be some supremacies that fall more gently on my ear than others.

But all right, I’ll ‘fess up. If I were a supremacist of any kind—which, once again, I’m really not!—I’d be an Anglo-Saxon Supremacist.

Let me enlarge on that. I’m looking at this survey from just over a year ago, a worldwide survey done by the Gallup organization, of how many people want to go live in another country, and which country they most want to move to.

The report lists the top 22 “desired destinations.”[Which countries do migrants want to move to?, by Charlotte Edmond, World Economic Forum, November 22, 2017] The U.S.A. is of course number one. Canada is number three, the U.K. number four. Australia is number six. New Zealand, somewhat to my surprise, is at number seventeen, in between Russia and China. That’s likely just ignorance, though. New Zealand’s a small, quiet, out-of-the-way place; much of the world’s population, I’m sure, has never heard of it.

New Zealand notwithstanding, that’s a pretty impressive showing for what John O’Sullivan has called the Anglosphere.

Surveying the world across the past century or so, in fact, I think a fair-minded person would have to say that a human being’s best shot at liberty, political stability, and modest middle-class prosperity has been in the Anglosphere. So the preferences recorded in the Gallup poll reflect worldwide awareness of that.

You can of course point to some blots, but many fewer in the Anglosphere than elsewhere. I’ll give you the Amritsar massacre if you give me Stalin’s Ukraine Famine, … and so on.

Political stability? France is on its fifth republic since 1789, with a couple of empires and a monarchy in there, too. Germany…the less said the better. The current constitution of China dates from 1982. It’s their fourth since the commies took over in 1949. Russia, Italy, Spain, … you get the idea.

So let’s hear it for the Anglosphere!

 
• Category: Ideology • Tags: Anglo-Saxons, Anglosphere, White Supremacy 
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Mexico leads the way! AI you can love

As mentioned in Radio Derb, the Mrs. and I took a break in Cancún, Mexico the first week of December.

We had a thoroughly enjoyable time; nothing much out of the ordinary, just five days in a very nice hotel (this one) lounging on the beach and poolside, with side trips to Mayan ruins and an adventure park.

A striking thing about the hotel was that it was All Inclusive. That is to say, once you had booked in and paid for your room there were no fees for food and drink. You just helped yourself.

I had trouble believing this at first. Our room, for example, had the usual refrigerator stocked with bottled water and beer. On the wall above the refrigerator was a rack of what in Britain, where I was once a bartender, are called “optics“—upside-down bottles of liquor with a one-measure dispensing spigot. (I’ve never tended bar in the U.S.A. so I don’t know what they are called here.)

This seemed too good to be true, so I went down to the service desk to check. “Sure,” they said, “just help yourself!”

You’d think these All Inclusive places would be heaven on earth for alcoholics, and expect to find them full of staggering drunks. Not at all; the hotel guests were all pleasant, well-behaved middle-class Mexicans and Americans like ourselves—adults only, no guests under 18—with only a mildly rowdy party-and-dance scene around one of the pools in the late hours.

It’s an interesting business model. I’d like to know how they worked out the math—I mean, of scaling up room charges to cover unlimited food and drink. It wasn’t at all expensive, a mere tick or two above what motels cost in New York.

I’m told there are All Inclusive hotels in the U.S.A., but not many. Mexico leads the way!

Mexico, China; the “front” and the “back.”

Interesting to be in Mexico. Everyone we dealt with was friendly and helpful, and the organization of the tours was wonderfully efficient, mainly thanks to the advent of the smartphone. The hotel was well-run and spotlessly clean.

So much for mid-20th-century stereotypes. Nowadays there’s chilled beer in England, deodorants in France, litter in Germany, capitalism in Russia, and efficiency in Mexico.

For sure nobody we met was hungry. The WHO ranks Mexico as 17th fattest among the nations of the world by body mass index, a tad slimmer than the U.S.A. at number 12, but perhaps they didn’t include employees of the tourist industry. All the men we dealt with were seriously overweight.

I have no illusions that the Cancún hotel strip is representative of the nation. On the 120-mile drive from Cancún to Chichén Itzá we passed through villages that were seriously Third World—collections of broken-down shacks in jungle clearings decorated with heaps of garbage. Cancún itself is a theater of low-level warfare between rival narco gangs, with mutilated, bullet-riddled corpses turning up regularly in the streets; although most of this takes place in the city proper, not the Zona Hotelera.

Comparing the friendliness and efficiency we encountered with the news reports about crime and corruption brought China to mind. China’s facade is more impressive than Mexico’s as the modern Chinese have made a deeper commitment to heroic materialism and have enough high-IQ citizens to make it shine. The Chinese media are under tighter state control than Mexico’s, too. Still, there is the same rottenness and corruption behind the facade, the same indifference to justice or civic values, the same crude thuggery.

There is something here analogous to Erving Goffman’s famous distinction between the “front” and the “back” of our social performances. In a restaurant, for example, the “front” is murmuring, deferential waiters offering carefully-arranged dishes in an atmosphere of hushed, orderly, genteel cleanliness; the “back” is frayed tempers, shouting matches, panicked chefs, and broken crockery in an overheated kitchen with clogged grease traps.

A nation, like any other social unit, has a “front” and a “back.” We didn’t get more than a glimpse of Mexico’s violent, corrupt “back.” The tourist “front,” though, is pretty darn nice.

The 0th of Pop

Cancún is on the northeastern tip of the Yucatán Peninsula, most of which belongs to Mexico. Yucatán was the heartland of the Mayan civilization, and their ruins are all over.

Although socially and technologically primitive—they worked metal only for ornamentation, not for tools or weapons—the Maya punched above their weight in math and had paper books. (The paper was made from bark.) Only three books survive, and you can of course now read them—well, you can look at them — on the internet).

The Maya were great calendrists, with several different day and month cycles overlaid on each other. The calendar in common use had eighteen 20-day months whose names look to have been lifted from a low-grade sci-fi novel: Pop, Uo, Zip, Zotz, Tzec, Xul, Yaxkin, Mol, Chen, Yax, Zac, Ceh, Mac, Kankin, Muan, Pax, Kayab, and Cumku.

I am now the proud owner of a T-shirt showing these months (with slightly different spellings) and their Mayan signs. My date of birth, officer? Zip 5th, Long Count 12.16.11.8.7.

Eighteen times 20 is only 360. The extra five days of the year were held to be of bad omen. Best stay home those five days. In case you want to start filling sandbags, the next 5-day hiatus is March 27-31, 2019; followed of course by Pop 0th.

Oh, I forgot to mention: the Mayans discovered zero, and started their day-numbering cycles with it, like the math professor in the old joke.

(Old joke: The math professor—it was George Pólya in the version I heard—is waiting on the railroad station platform with his wife, surrounded by their luggage. A porter comes along: “Shall I help you with your luggage? How many pieces do you have?” Math prof.: “Let me see: zero, one, two, …”)

A safe space in Mexico

 
• Category: Foreign Policy, Ideology • Tags: China, Mexico 
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Steve Sailer captured post-1965 U.S. grand strategy very neatly with his phrase “invade the world, invite the world.”It’s the inviting that we mainly concentrate on here at VDARE.com, but the invading is worth citizens’ attention, too. As Steve’s phrase suggests, the two things are not unconnected.

We have done an awful lot of invading this past half-century, most of it to no point at all, and at a cost of thousands of American lives and trillions of dollars.

Candidate Donald Trump on the 2016 campaign trail seemed to get the futility of it all. He talked of bringing our troops home, advised South Korea to nuke up, said we should withdraw from NATO and shut down our missionary wars in the Middle East.

Millions of us responded eagerly to all that, as we did to his talk of bringing order to our immigration system. That’s how Trump got elected.

Two years later, very little has actually been done on either clause of Steve’s phrase. We’re still inviting the world on a huge scale, a scale that makes sense only to cheap-labor lobbyists and anti-white ethnic ideologues. And yes, we’re still invading the world. We’re still in NATO; we still have 26,000 troops in Korea; our war in Afghanistan is in its eighteenth year, with one-eighth of the country under enemy control and one-third “contested.” [Taliban control of Afghanistan on the rise, US inspector says, by Kara Fox, CNN, November 8, 2018]

The President, in that careless, half-hearted way he has, threw us a small bone last week by announcing that we would withdraw all our troops from Syria and half from Afghanistan. The news is welcome, but it’s way too little.

Why is Trump so half-hearted, so timid?

Did you ever think you’d hear the words “Trump” and “timid” in the same sentence?

I don’t know how else to describe the President’s actions, though. I long to see him throw down gauntlets, challengethe Executive apparatchiks, the Congressional seat-warmers, the puffed-up Judiciary.

There are so many gauntlets he could throw down. Just at random from this week’s browsing: A long, closely-argued piece on the CIS website by immigration wonk Andrew Arthur making the case that Trump can, by himself, make E-Verify mandatory. Quote: “All that it requires is the will, and 60 days’ notice before implementation.” [Could the President Mandate E-Verify? Probably — IRCA is looser than you might think, December 28, 2018]

Where’s the will, Mr. President? Sure, the congresscritters will screech and the Leftist judges will frown; perhaps they could stop what you’re trying to do. The only way to find out is to try doing it—to throw down the gauntlet.

So thanks for the Syria bone, Mr. President. Could you now try something big, something bold, even if it makes Ivanka cry?

F.H. Buckley (no relation!) just had a good column on the withdrawal from Syria, pointing out that in all these stupid, futile interventions we have had help from local people who saw us as on their side, and put themselves in danger to help us [Trump may have gone too far by abandoning the Kurds, New York Post, December 27, 2018]

When we pull out our troops—Buckley is speaking specifically of Syria, and the Kurds—we are leaving those allies to their fate, which may not be a happy one.

But, as Buckley points out, we’ve been here before. After Vietnam fell in 1975 we admitted hundreds of thousands of South Vietnamese. A lot of them just didn’t want to live under Communism, but some significant proportion—I’d like to see an estimate of that proportion, though I never have—had actively helped us in South Vietnam and were in real danger.

There are people in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Syria today in that same position. Notably so are the Kurds of northern Syria who have actually been fighting alongside American troops against ISIS. The Kurds face hostility not only from the Syrian government, but also from Turkey, which has a longstanding policy of crushing Kurdish separatism.

The situation of the Kurds is tragic to be sure, and they attach a nontrivial moral issue to our withdrawal from Syria. I mean them no disrespect—in a world ordered by me, they’d have their own country.

That said, I could not help but smile when reading the December 20th Washington Post story about the Kurds’ reaction to Trump’s decision. Longish quote:

The decision represented yet another setback to Kurdish aspirations for some form of statehood, which have repeatedly met disappointment at the hands of the United States. The letdowns began after President Woodrow Wilson pushed for but failed to secure a separate Kurdish state at the 1919 peace conference following World War I, which drew the borders of the modern Middle East.

Kurds say the hopes they have since placed in the United States have continued to be dashed. In 1975, the United States abandoned support for a Kurdish uprising in Iraq after President Saddam Hussein struck a deal with their ally, the Shah of Iran. In 1991, President George H.W. Bush encouraged Iraqis to rise up against Saddam, but when Kurds in the north and Shiite Arabs in the south responded to the call, the U.S. military refrained from going to their aid. Most recently, the Trump administration last year withheld support for an independence referendum in Iraqi Kurdistan, and Iraqi troops rolled unopposed into areas the Kurds had controlled. [This time, the United States is betraying more than just the Kurds, allies say , By Liz Sly, December 20, 2018. Emphasis added]

 
An Interview with John Derbyshire
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2019 is almost here.

As everyone knows, 2019 is the year when the dystopian sci-fi movie Blade Runner takes place. 2019 will also be the ten year anniversary of the release of John Derbyshire’s paradigm-shifting bestseller We Are Doomed: Reclaiming Conservative Pessimism, a book which paints a dystopian future for America even more disturbing and unsettling than the one portrayed in Blade Runner.

John Derbyshire was Alt Right before it was cool. Derb was Alt Right before there was even a word for it. While Derb may seem moderate compared to an Andrew Anglin or a Mike Enoch, for many years until his dismissal from National Review in 2012, John Derbyshire was undoubtedly the most hardcore Right-winger with access mainstream conservative media outlets.

Before settling in at his current home at VDare, Derbyshire spent years as the black sheep on Conservatism Inc, writing for National Review and Weekly Standard. Derb was to Conservatism Inc. was Larry Bird was to basketball or Eminem was to rap, a sort of reactionary Great White Hope in a sea of unevolved neocon cucks. Derb also wrote for the “kinda-sorta Alt Right” website TakiMagand hosts the longest running Dissident Right podcast on the internet: Radio Derb.

Derb was my and many others’ first exposure to truly reactionary ideas. Well, there was Pat Buchanan, I guess. Pat was a sort of a proto-Alt Right figure himself, but Buchanan was steeped in sentimentality and Christian traditionalism. Derb believed everything Pat Buchanan believed but was a lot more scientific and racist about it and without all the Jesus stuff.

But it was in 2009 with the release of his landmark bestseller We Are Doomed: Reclaiming Conservative Pessimism that Derbyshire laid out the scale of our problems: demographic decline of whites and our replacement by low-IQ Third Worlders, totalitarian egalitarianism running rampant in all our institutions, monumental wastes of resources in futile quests to close racial achievement gaps, and all the while, a cheery tone of Reaganist optimism coming from a Right who should be scared to death.

With the Left triumphing on all fronts, the Right with its head in the sand, and the whole damn system rigged against us, Derbyshire concluded that America, conservatism, and the West in general were basically doomed. Doomed to become a Brazil-style multicultural Third World hellhole, and there wasn’t a lot we could do about it.

But now we are ten years in the future and much has happened since. How does We Are Doomed hold up today? We caught up with the famously and eternally blackpilled John Derbyshire to find out.

We’re coming up on the tenth anniversary of your earth-shattering best seller We Are Doomed: Reclaiming Conservative Pessimism.
Nearly a decade later, are you more or less convinced that we are in fact doomed?

Define “we.” As mortals we are of course all doomed; but that wasn’t what I was writing about. The first sentence in my book reads: “This book is addressed to American conservatives.”

Yes, small-government, restrained-foreign-policy, ordered-liberty American conservatism is not merely doomed, it’s dead and gone. We’re close to the point – maybe past it already, it’s hard to keep track – where the federal government can tell you which pronoun to use.

We’re in a shooting war in Niger, a place hardly any American could find on a map, or should need to. We have 26,000 troops stationed in Korea, and 13,000 in Italy for crying out loud. Gotta stop Mussolini!

Freedom of speech is being stamped out by the tech monopolies and universities, with the eager help of lefty judges. Freedom of association is a fading memory – killed by the Civil Rights acts. Small government? You looked at the federal budget lately?

Has anything happened in the last decade that you did not anticipate?

I got cancer.

One of the menaces you warned against in We Are Doomed was “smiley-faced fools”–the empty-suit politicians with their sunshine happy talk about “brighter tomorrows,” “new days dawning,” and “shining cities on the hill”. However, Trump took the exact opposite route: “we’re in big trouble,” “we never win anymore,” “these guys are killing us,” etc. Reaganesque happy talk now seems old fashioned. Would you say that Trump has vanquished the smiley-faced fools? Was Trump a victory for the scowl-faced? Has pessimism at last won the day?

Uh, you’re asking a pessimist if pessimism is a winner?

Human beings, along with all the other higher animals, are optimistic by default. There is scientific literature on this. Pessimists are shunned and despised. In the hunter-gatherer EEA they were driven from the tribe, or just killed.

Pessimism is an attitude to the future. Trump campaigned on a promise to Make America Great Again. How is that not happy talk?

You were still at National Review when We Are Doomed was released. How did the rest of the National Review gang react to your book?

Unenthusiastically, although I don’t recall any actual hostility.

For one thing the ethos at 2009 National Review was stuck at happy-face Reaganite. Doom’n’gloom was not going to go down well.

For another I was frank about some topics that frightened them.

You were a fan favorite at NRO. Was NR worried that you were “redpilling” too many people? Did any of NRO’s readers complain about you or “The Talk” or was it just the NR bigwigs who couldn’t take the heat?

NR, like any other periodical of opinion, has a “line.” They didn’t, and don’t, like their contributors to engage in frank talk about race, even in other outlets.

What counts as “frank”? Well, some things you only find out by experiment.

I have no idea how the proportions fell out in reader reaction. I’d be mildly curious to know. I heard almost exclusively from people who supported me; but that is likely a selection effect at source.

I should add, though, that, as I described at length elsewhere: “There were, too, particular personal animosities of the kind that will inevitably arise during fourteen years of close confinement with a dozen or more opinionated intellectuals.”

 
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So there’s going to be at least a brief government shutdown over the Democrats’ refusal to fund President Trump’s Wall. Good. I cheered on the Wall when Trump put it at the front of his campaign in 2016. And of course we should have a secure barrier to separate us from the semi-barbarous countries to our south, most of which are not so much nation-states as criminal enterprises.

Still, I’m starting to worry that Trump’s need for a Wall—and he really does need it, if he’s not to be thrown out of office in 2020 to jeers of derision and hoots of contempt—I’m worrying that this Wall obsession is crowding out real patriotic immigration reform.

Last week I expressed my fear that the enemy—I mean, the open-borders nation-killers in Congress, the courts, and the media —might calculate that it would be worth giving Trump a wall, and maybe even four more years in the White House, if, in return, they got a total Amnesty for twenty or thirty million illegal aliens, perhaps with expedited citizenship, and big expansions of guest-worker programs, chain migration, refugee settlement, and so on.

I want to see a wall, but not at that price. In fact, looking through the other end of the telescope, I’m asking myself what price I personally would accept for dropping all talk of a wall.

That’s just me opinionating, of course. President Trump doesn’t have the option of giving up on the Wall. He’s too committed to it.

Those of us pushing for patriotic immigration reform do need to keep these other issues in play, though, and not let discussion of them get drowned out by Wall talk.

A Wall would be great. But it wouldn’t restore our national sovereignty or demographic stability by itself.

Nancy Pelosi recently said on national TV that a border wall would be, her actual word, “immoral.”

This is typical. To quote me in Chapter 10 of We Are Doomed:

Immigration is a difficult topic to discuss … The reason it is so difficult is that it has, more I think than any other aspect of U.S. policy, been moralized, in fact hyper-moralized.

They want morality? I’ll give them morality. There is a moral aspect to immigration policy that Pelosi and the other moralizers seem not to want to discuss. That is our strip-mining of poor countries for their most talented people.

There are more Ethiopian doctors in Chicago than in Ethiopia.” That’s from an Ethiopian-emigré website, and the date, I should say, is 2010.

I’m going to post a slight skepticism on that one. The original source is Lefty British politician Glenys Kinnock, speaking in the European Parliament in 2006.[ WORLD HEALTH DAY: Africa Losing Skills to Europe, by Stefania Bianchi, IPS, April 7, 2006] As a Lefty, Ms Kinnock was, I suppose, trying to make a point about the wickedness of the First World, i.e. of white people. How does she square her point, I wonder, with Lefty enthusiasm for uncontrolled immigration?

The fact as stated is not implausible, though. The brain drain from poor countries to rich ones has been a talking-point among development economists for decades, and out of a class of 58 graduates in an Ethiopian medical school 15 years ago, 48 left the country, most to the US. [The doctor surge in Ethiopia, by William Foreman, Healthcare In America, August 18, 2016]

It ties in with Smart Fraction Theory, which argues that for national flourishing you need a certain minimum proportion of high-IQ citizens.

If Smart Fraction Theory is correct then regions like sub-Saharan Africa, with low mean IQ, while they undoubtedly have some smart people, may not have enough for stability and prosperity. And then rich-world immigration policies vacuum up most of the smart people they do have …

How is this moral?

Headline, this one more current: Romania’s brain drain: Half of Romania’s doctors left the country between 2009 and 2015. [Romania-insider.com, March 6, 2017] That’s dated 2017, from an English-language Romanian website, which actually gives the numbers.

Romania’s not even Third World, just bottom-tier First World—annual per capita GDP $25,000—better than Mexico.

Still the lure of North American or West European salaries and standard of living is enough to entice away half the country’s trained doctors.

So how come the immigration moralizers never talk about this? I’ve watched a lot of immigration chat on TV this past few weeks; I don’t recall the topic coming up at all.

 
• Category: Ideology • Tags: Donald Trump, Immigration 
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U.S. immigration policy is nested in the broader issue of our time: the struggle of settled Western nations with their distinctive national characters and familiar—familiar, I mean, to the citizens who comprise them—their familiar styles of managing their public affairs, the struggle of these nations to keep their nationhood intact against the ambitions ofglobalizing elites.

As it happens, there is a keynote quotation on precisely this topic that is particularly apt right now. Here at VDARE.com we have used this quotation, or bits of it, rather often, as it accords precisely with our own inclinations and our mission here. Cousin Peter, my boss here at VDARE.com, used it to rhetorical effect in his 1995 book Alien Nation. I used it in my planned 2016 address to Williams College, the address that college President Adam Falk [Email him] judged so dangerously inflammatory he banned me from his campus before I could deliver it.

The quotation I am talking about comes of course from Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn’s Nobel Lecture, the lecture he sent to the Swedish Academy on accepting the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1970.

Since we have gotten such mileage out of the quotation already I might, under other circumstances, have forborne bringing it out yet again. It is, though, especially apt now: Tuesday, December 11th, was the centenary of Alexander Solzhenitsyn’s birth.

Here’s the quotation:

In recent times it has been fashionable to talk of the levelling of nations, of the disappearance of different races in the melting-pot of contemporary civilization. I do not agree with this opinion, but its discussion remains another question. Here it is merely fitting to say that the disappearance of nations would have impoverished us no less than if all men had become alike, with one personality and one face. Nations are the wealth of mankind, its collective personalities; the very least of them wears its own special colours and bears within itself a special facet of divine intention.

Now I see those words again, in fact, I am absolutely not going to apologize for bringing them forward for the umpteenth time at VDARE.com. Instead, I’m going to propose that schoolchildren all over the Western world be made to memorize them, as America kids are taught to memorize the Pledge of Allegiance…assuming they still are. If they aren’t, I’d rather not know.

Because one of those nations is what we here at VDARE.com call the Historic American Nation—America as it had evolvedbefore the disaster of the 1965 Immigration Act and the simultaneous abandonment of enforcement of laws against illegal immigration on our southern border.

As I’ve mentioned before, I binge-read my way through Soviet dissident literature forty years ago. Solzhenitsyn was of course on the list; but with all respect for his suffering and his achievement, and with all due thanks for that precious quotation, I can’t truthfully say I ever really warmed to him as a writer. His style seemed to me heavy and clumsy. That could be the translator’s fault, though; I was reading him in English. If any fluent readers of Russian are listening, I’ll be glad to air your opinion in a future podcast.

Which Soviet dissident writers did I warm to? Well, Bukovsky was most fun to read, as a person who I thought—the way you do when you engage with an author’s work—I would most enjoy meeting over dinner and drinks.

From a literary point of view, though—I mean, if I were being asked to place a money bet on who would still be read a hundred years from now—I liked Varlam Shalamov.

That comes with a warning: Shalamov is not fun to read. He is well over on the grim side of Soviet dissident literature, together with Solzhenitsyn’s early long poem Prussian Nights. These are works that should be read only by daylight.

And having just attended the Christmas party of the conservative high-culture magazine The New Criterion, I’m glad of the opportunity to put in a plug for that fine periodical, now in its 37th year of publication.

 
• Category: Ideology • Tags: Immigration, Solzhenitsyn 
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The CRISPR babies

The news that a Chinese scientist has gene-edited human embryos left me neither shaken nor stirred. If you follow this stuff you know that we’ve been able to do this for six years. It was just a matter of someone being audacious enough to actually do it.

Professor He Jiankui may in fact have been a tad too audacious; he seems to be in trouble with his superiors since the news came out.

Diddling with the human genome will certainly be a thing in humanity’s near future with sensational, unforeseeable consequences; I’m not blithe about that. We’re not there yet, though, nor even close. Stories like this will pop up as Page Five items for another ten years, maybe twenty, without radically affecting society.

By mid-century, when my kids are middle-aged, the fun will have started in earnest. By end-century the human world will have been transformed in ways we cannot even imagine and I would not dare try to predict.

Eastern eugenics, Western dysgenics

So the answer to the question, “Are the ChiComs going to breed a master race?” is, “Not any time soon.”

Would they like to, though? Yes, they would. I’ve been writing about this for, according to my archives, at least seventeen years.

“Eugenics” is not a bad word over there. ChiCom social policy has had a consciously eugenic component since the 1980s, in complete contradiction to the metaphysical axioms of orthodox Marxism-Leninism (of which, as I have explained elsewhere, Mao Tse-tung Thought is just a cheap Chinese knock-off). The One Child Policy, for example—now somewhat relaxed—was driven in part by the intention “to reduce dysgenic fertility among rural peasants.”

The ChiComs pursue policies intended to make their population smarter. Genetic diddling will certainly speed that up when we eventually figure out how to do it safely, but they hope that good old selective breeding will deliver results in the meantime.

This is the opposite of our policy here in the West. We—or at any rate our political and cultural elites—are striving to make our population dumber by the mass immigration and sacralization of low-IQ peoples.

The end result would seem to be a foregone conclusion, but you never know. Possibly ChiCom gene-diddling, when they get there, will go disastrously wrong. Possibly the West will get lucky—come up with something we can put into the water supply to give everyone twenty extra IQ points. Who knows? There are many futures.

“He’s on first,” She told You

While we are still—thank goodness!—in the Page Five, “hey, that’s kind of interesting, did you feed the dog?” zone with CRISPR, my attention got snagged on the scientist’s name: 賀建奎, Hè Jiànkúi in the standard pinyin transcription.

Surname comes first in Chinese (though they often flip it round in translated text to confuse us). So this guy’s surname transcribes as “Hè.” The “H” is hard “German” style; the “e” is a schwa—a sort of “uh” vowel. The tone is high-falling, but tone marks are generally dropped when transcribing.

The very pleasant lady from Wuhan who sits behind the counter at my local post office sports the surname “尤,” written in pinyin as “Yóu,” pronounced like street-English “yo!” but with high-rising tone.

“佘” is also a Chinese surname, though not a common one. The pinyin transcription is “Shé” with that same schwa and the high-rising tone again.

So I have this notion of a short story—I doubt you could stretch it to a novel—written in English but with Chinese dramatis personæ surnamed He, You, and She, with the tone marks dropped. The art of the piece would be to make the ambiguity between Chinese surnames and English pronouns as confusing as possible to the reader.

The result, if anyone can pull it off, would not be quite as silly as “Mr Shi eats lions,” but it would be silly enough to send a small brief shaft of light through the horrid fog of po-faced solemnity, preacherish sanctimony, and indignant moralizing that envelops our society today.

Opera buffa at the Derbs’

On the silliness theme, we’ve been going through some opera buffa in the Derb household this month.

My wife Rosie has a sister-in-law back in China, and this lady has a niece 21 or 22 years old. I’ll call her Lulu, which is nothing like her real name.

Lulu started at NYU this fall semester. We knew nothing about her except that she was smart enough to get into NYU and her family rich enough to pay full fees. That was enough, though, to kick Rosie into match-maker mode. She was seized with the notion that Lulu would make a fine wife for our son Danny (23).

When the three of us—Dad, Mom, and Danny—sat down to dinner in the late-October evenings, Rosie would launch into her sales pitch, addressing Danny with: “This girl is smart! She’s rich! You should meet her!” I tried to lighten things up with speculations on Lulu’s appearance, about which we knew nothing: “Perhaps she has buck teeth and weighs 300 pounds …”

Danny wasn’t buying it. For one thing, he has no desire to get married. For another, he thinks Chinese girls are stuck-up. He is too filial to make a fuss; but he rolled his eyes, fended off the sales pitch with sighs and groans, and left the table as soon as he decently could.

Nothing deterred, Rosie invited Lulu to come visit us out on Long Island the first weekend of November on the pretext of seeing the fall colors. I was away that weekend at the H.L. Mencken Club conference, so what follows is hearsay.

Danny resolved matters to his own satisfaction, and his mother’s frustration, by absenting himself from the house for the weekend. Saturday evening Rosie took Lulu on a visit to friends nearby.

These friends are another Chinese lady—I’ll call her Daisy—married to another round-eye male; and they too have a son, the same age as Danny. Lulu and this son got on well; and that hurled Daisy into match-maker mode. The middle-aged Chinese woman seems to be a natural host for the match-making bug.

Driving home with Lulu, Rosie learned that Daisy had invited Lulu to stay with them for Thanksgiving. Rosie was outraged. She took the point of view that Daisy was poaching. As she expressed it to me later: “We saw her first!” (Lulu, I should say, turned out to be very pretty and personable.)

 
• Category: Science 
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John Derbyshire spoke at the Mencken Club recently (November 3, just before the midterms) and spoke on the subject of anarcho-tyranny.

See earlier Brimelow At Mencken: “Democrats—Party Of Perjury, Party Of Treason, Party Of Hysterical Screeching.”

Good morning, ladies and gentlemen. Thank you for being here, and thanks to Paul [Gottfried] for what already looks like another very successful conference.

First somewhat of an apology. The title of my talk is misleading. I have the heart and soul of a freelance journalist, and we don’t bother much with titles. Titles to articles in newspapers and magazines were traditionally supplied by subeditors—the people responsible for headlines and photo captions. Where titles are concerned, a freelancer has to take his chances with the subs.

That’s not precisely what happened here. What actually happened was, Paul asked me if I’d join a panel on anarcho-tyranny. I said I’d be delighted. Paul asked if there was any particular subtopic I wanted to focus on. I said: “Nah, just give me a topic and I’ll run with it.” Paul then listed my topic as: “The Breakdown of Order in Late Mass Democracy.”

I tell you this to make it plain that I don’t, from long habit, take titles very seriously; and this is not Paul’s fault.

So I can now tell you that, after pondering the title Paul has supplied me with, I don’t in fact think there will be a breakdown of order in what—yes, I do agree—we can rightly call “late mass democracy.”

Not only do I think there will not be a breakdown of order, I fear the opposite thing: an intensification of order. Let me explain that.

I think the distinguishing characteristic of late mass democracy is the elites getting their mojo back. After a Century of the Common Man, elites are now saying to themselves, in the current popular idiom: “We’ve got this.”

To explain what I mean, let me take a brief historico-literary detour.

When I was getting my secondary education back in England in the early 1960s, a common exercise for sixth formers—that is, high school juniors and seniors—was to read George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four, and then to read Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World, and to write an essay declaring, with supporting arguments, which of the two books you thought the actual future would more closely resemble.

Both these books presented the reader with a dystopia—a dark view of humanity’s future. The two dystopias were radically different, though.

In Orwell’s vision, as I’m sure is well known, the human spirit had been tamed by terror. A ruling elite, divided into an Inner Party and an Outer Party, maintained itself by fear. Outer Party members, who did the administrative grunt work, were kept under constant vigilance by the Thought Police. Dissidents were hauled away to be tortured and killed. A great sullen mass of proles, with no political rights, were kept pacified by a coarse kind of popular culture and frequent spasms of war fever, and were also under watch by the Thought Police, so that potential troublemakers could be quickly identified and eliminated.

Huxley’s dystopia was altogether different. Huxley’s planet is unified and at peace. Its affairs are managed by ten regional Controllers. Marriage, childbirth, and family life have been abolished, along with all kinds of suffering — even such minor kinds as disappointment and frustration. Also gone are the nation-state, war, religion, ethnicity, and all profound art and literature. Disease has been banished. Old age has been banished too, very nearly: Citizens are healthy, vigorous, and attractive until about age 60, when they decline quickly to death. Everyone lives in a state of contented hedonism, assisted by regular doses of soma, a freely available narcotic with no side- or after-effects. Sex is promiscuous and recreational, with universal free access to contraception and abortion.

The necessary work of Huxley’s society is carried out via a system of castes, with bright and capable Alphas at the top, then betas, gammas, deltas, down to dimwitted Epsilons at the bottom. Caste is determined in the Hatcheries, where good-quality eggs and sperm are mated to produce Alphas. Inferior zygotes are assigned to the lower castes and cloned. The production of well-adjusted citizens is completed in Conditioning units.

All this is accomplished so successfully that society is well-nigh self-regulating. The Controllers, though in theory they’re possessed of despotic powers, in fact have very little to do.

When I got this assignment around age 17, I pondered the matter and came down on the side of Huxley as having given us a more probable picture of the future. I can’t honestly remember my arguments, but I suspect my choice was mainly esthetic. Orwell’s vision was plainly horrible. It even smelled bad: remember how Winston Smith’s apartment building stank of boiled cabbage? Huxley’s world, on the other hand, didn’t sound bad at all. Universal peace; no more diseases; pop a harmless pill if you’re unhappy; guilt-free recreational sex; what’s not to like? When you read Brave New World, you know there’s something badly wrong with it; but it’s surprisingly difficult to say what, exactly, that is. Speaking as a bookish intellectual, I would say that what’s wrong is the stasis, the end of any quest for knowledge, for deeper understanding of the world.

When I look at the trends of our own time, it seems to me that my 1962 judgment was correct, however accidentally. Of course, Huxley’s vision was only very approximately predictive. He got a lot of things wrong. We don’t need a caste of dimwitted Epsilons to do the industrial work, we can have robots do it.

More glaringly, he did not foresee the great explosion in the populations of hopeless people seeking to escape chaotic nations—the crowds we have seen on our TV screens this past few weeks heading up through Mexico; with, looming up behind them, the prospect of—what is the latest UN projection? Four billion, is it?—desperate Africans by the end of this century.

 
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[Adapted from the latest Radio Derb, now available exclusively on VDARE.com.]

Nationalism is definitely a Thing right now—so much so that National Public Radio on November 14th declared “nationalist” to be the Word of the Year for 2018. [Opinion: ‘Nationalist’ Arises, With Myriad Connotations, As The Word Of 2018, by Geoffrey Nunberg, November 14, 2018]

A few reasons:

  • At a pre-election campaign rally in Texas, President Trump had declared himself a proud nationalist. Apparently in response to this, at a ceremony in Paris last Sunday to commemorate the Armistice that ended World War One a hundred years ago, French President Emmanuel Macron laid in to nationalism: “Patriotism is the exact opposite of nationalism: nationalism is a betrayal of patriotism.”
  • That Armistice Day, November 11th, is also, as it happens, Poland‘s National Independence Day, a public holiday—the Polish July Fourth, as it were. This year is the centenary not only of the Armistice, but also of modern Polish independence, which Poles seized as the empires of Russia, Germany, and Austria were disintegrating all around them in 1918.
  • In Britain, the most significant nationalist event of the past few decades was the 2016 vote by referendum to leave the European Union—Brexit. Negotiations between the British government and the EU on the terms of departure have dragged on for two and a half years, but the matter now seems at last to be coming to a head.
  • There is talk of building a new European Army independent of NATO. German Chancellor Angela Merkelchimed in with agreement. We American nationalists would like nothing better than for the U.S.A. to withdraw from NATO. That would be a great boost to ournationalism, American Our nationalist President, however, disagrees: he scoffed at Macron’s idea.
  • Yoram Hazony’s book The Virtue of Nationalism, published in September, has been widely reviewed and discussed.

Nationalism is highly relevant to our mission here at VDARE.com: to promote thoughtful, well-informed discussion of the U.S.A.’s National Question, with special attention to issues of demographics and foreign settlement.

I have to say I find Macron deeply unimpressive. None of his recorded remarks has struck me as very intelligent or memorable. The French themselves seem to agree with me: Macron’s party is polling poorly, below twenty percent—behind Marine Le Pen‘s nationalists. [French far-right overtakes Macron in EU parliament election poll, by David Chazan, Financial Times, November 4, 2018]

It’s characteristic of mediocrities like Macron to be in thrall to the shallow clichés of the generation that came before them. For Macron in particular to be in thrall to the generation before him would actually be less surprising than the average, as he is married to a member of that generation. Mrs. Macron’s generation is also mine, more or less—she is eight years younger than I am—so I can speak with authority about those shallow clichés that were in the air during the decades after WW2.

One of those clichés was that while patriotism was good, nationalism was bad. Patriotism, the talking heads all told us in 1960 and 1970, was the warm, loving feeling you have for your country, with no malice or prejudice against anyone else’s country. Where there was such malice—or disdain, or contempt, or aggressive intentions—that was nationalism.

So nationalism was patriotism with attitude.

That was what all Goodthinking people believed through my young adulthood, and Mrs. Macron’s. It’s not hard to figure why we believed that. The aggressor powers in WW2, Germany and Japan, had state ideologies of militaristic imperialism, of which nationalism was undeniably a component. Setting out to conquer Europe and Asia, the Germans and Japanese felt justified in doing so because their nations were best.

Nationalism-wise, there’s a contradiction in there, though. As militaristic imperialists, the Germans and the Japanese had no time for anyone else’s nationalism. They both knew, as imperialists have known since civilization began, that nationalism is the bane of imperialism.

The Germans and Japanese who fought WW2 were not fans of Polish nationalism or Korean nationalism. They strove very mightily and brutally to extinguish those nationalisms. They were imperialists. Nationalist impulses may be harnessed by imperialism, but imperialism is fundamentally anti-nationalist. Ask a Tibetan.

That nationalism can be harnessed to the service of militaristic imperialism is not an argument against nationalism; it’s an argument against militaristic imperialism. The bonds of family loyalty and affection can be harnessed to the service of organized crime, as we see with the Mafia. That’s not an argument against family loyalty and affection.

So the conventional wisdom of 1970—patriotism good, nationalism bad—while it was understandable after the mid-century horrors, left much unsaid.

Now the things then left unsaid are being said. Here am I saying some of them.

So what does distinguish patriotism from nationalism?

One answer: nothing. The words “patriotism” and “nationalism” are synonyms.

 
• Category: Ideology • Tags: Globalism, Nationalism 
John Derbyshire
About John Derbyshire

John Derbyshire writes an incredible amount on all sorts of subjects for all kinds of outlets. (This no longer includes National Review, whose editors had some kind of tantrum and fired him. He is the author of We Are Doomed: Reclaiming Conservative Pessimism and several other books. His most recent book, published by VDARE.com com is FROM THE DISSIDENT RIGHT (also available in Kindle).His writings are archived at JohnDerbyshire.com.